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Dysfunctional: Origins

By Bertie the Redwood All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Blurb

When he loses his parents and his sister in a gruesome murder, Theo Aldridge sinks into a bottomless depression. After a failed suicide attempt, Theo meets Sally and Reuben--classmates of his who are also in dire straits. Sally is dying of a rare disease that steals her sleep, and Reuben is struggling to relate to the people around him while hiding the darkness of his home life. One day, the three accidentally discover that they've acquired powers that seem to fix their worst flaws. Where did these abilities come from? While searching for this answer, they come across a disturbing secret in their very own high school. A force of destruction that only Theo, Sally, and Reuben can stop.

Prologue

IT was the worst night of Theo Aldridge’s life. It was also going to be his last. Well, that was the plan; he just hadn’t been able to go through with it yet, although not for lack of trying.

At first, everything had gone according to plan. He waited for his foster parents to go to bed, and he locked his door in case one of his rambunctious foster siblings tried to barge in. Theo reached into the back of his bottom dresser drawer and retrieved the noose he had fashioned out of several winter scarves that he had sewed together. It was a bit tricky to secure the end of the homemade noose to his ceiling fan but not difficult enough to dissuade him.

He rolled his desk chair into the middle of the room. Theo locked the wheels and then raised his eyes. The noose dangled in front of his face, swaying gently. Staring directly at his imminent death probably should have given him some sort of ominous feeling or revelation. Instead, the mismatched, brightly colored scarves made him think of Christmas.

It was a nice last thought.

His legs shook only a little as he balanced carefully on the chair. Theo slipped the noose around his neck. He took a deep breath. Hopefully his foster family would understand once they read the letter he left them. The envelope sat on his neatly made bed propped up against a pillow. They were good people, and they didn’t deserve his misery.

Before he could talk himself out of it, Theo closed his eyes tightly and jumped, purposefully kicking the chair over. The soft scarves suddenly stretched, gripping his throat in a vice. On instinct, he sucked in a quick breath and held it. In no time at all, his lungs started to burn, and his peripheral vision began fading to black.

Theo released his final breath.

And then he took another.

Surprised, Theo opened his eyes. The noose was still wound unmercifully around his neck, and he was still suspended above the floor by his ceiling fan. Experimentally, he inhaled again. Theo’s lungs expanded until his ribs ached.

That wasn’t right. It couldn’t be right. He exhaled and then took several more deep breaths just to be sure.

The unrelenting pressure of the noose was certainly uncomfortable, but he definitely wasn’t dying. He could breathe unimpeded for Pete’s sake.

It took him almost two hours to extricate himself from the makeshift gallows. He really should not have kicked the chair so far away.

From there, the night continued to go south.

Theo popped the blades out of his foster mom’s razor and made deep, vertical cuts on the underside of both his arms. The bleeding stopped after five minutes. He tried downing a combination of Advil and Benadryl, but he couldn’t swallow more than ten pills before he was slumped over the toilet bowl emptying his stomach.

Next he went to the kitchen for a plastic bag. He placed it over his head and pinched the bag shut beneath his jaw. He waited for ten minutes, but his attempt at suffocation was just as successful as his earlier attempt at hanging. In a last ditch effort, Theo filled the bathtub and tried to drown himself, but that required more will power than even he had.

With his limited access to stronger drugs—prescription or otherwise—and the lack of firearms in the house, Theo found himself out of options.

He retreated to his bed for the rest of the night, completely exhausted, and collapsed on top of the blankets. Tomorrow was a new day, as his dad used to be so fond of saying.

Maybe death would be kinder in the morning.

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ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...

kwilliams: I am an avid reader, and I do mean AVID and few indie authors capture my attention the way you have. I absolutely fell in love with these characters and their story. I'm usually not a fan of the cliff hanger endings (be it a series or not), but this one made me download the Kindle app just so I c...

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

amarin8388: Bottom Line: I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction. During my reading, I thought many times that this would make a good story for a movie. It reminded me of the StarWars movie franchise, not because of the plot but because of the diversity of chara...

Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!

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